bubble, bubble, little toil and not much trouble. Ooh, and meatballs!

Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday, so I spend a lot of time thinking about all things spooky. This year, I’ve already gone to two pumpkin festivals and two parties (this is what happens when you have a toddler), and I’ve been knee-deep in hot dogs, potato chips and, of course, devilish amounts of candy. I just lovvve it.

But, truth be told, I’ve been hungering for, well, food. So I came up with this ghoulish supper for the big night of trick-or-treating. It will fortify little pranksters for hours of mischief, and parents will like it, too. Who knew black beans and turkey meatballs could be so gruesome?

Black Cauldron Stew

Ghoulish + good-for-you = a match made in Halloween heaven. To help
set the scene, I found a plastic cauldron at Party City and placed the
serving bowl inside.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped spinach

For meatballs:

  • ¾ pound ground turkey
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup sour cream, chilled
  • sliced black olives
  • red bell pepper cut into tiny triangles or strips for eyes

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions, bell
pepper and garlic. Sauté until tender, stirring occasionally, about 10
minutes. Add beans, broth, tomatoes with juice, chili powder, cumin,
cayenne and sugar, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and
simmer about 30 minutes. Stir in spinach until tender, about 1 minute.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For meatballs, combine ground turkey, onion, garlic clove, Parmesan,
salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Shape into 16 meatballs. Heat oil in
large skillet over medium heat, and cook in batches about 10 minutes,
turning to brown on all sides. Drain on paper towels and let cool

Transfer stew to serving bowl and place in cauldron. Top each
meatball with a spoonful of chilled sour cream and one olive slice.
Arrange bell pepper piece inside olive. Carefully place a few meatballs
on top of chili and serve the rest alongside.

Serves 6